Thursday, January 06, 2005

[ELECTION 2005] The End of Croatian Orange Revolution

Croatian Orange Revolution is, for all practical purposes, over. For a while it looked like Boris Mikšić (Boris Miksic) could ride the wave of the public discontent and establish himself as a champion of all those who don't like Croatian political establishment or, in other words, majority of Croatian people.

However, street protest was really bad way to do it. Mikšić lacked not only powerful backers in Brussels and Washington, but also the organisation necessary for street protests to keep momentum. The close election result was apparently as much of a surprise for Mikšić as for anyone else and protests at Monday evening showed lack of organisation.

If Mikšić persisted, his lack of organisation and lack of vision would become too apparent, thus stripping him of messianic status he enjoys among many Croatians. Furthermore, street protests are the thing that attracts all kinds of marginal characters that tend to make more harm than good to the cause they serve.

It became apparent on Tuesday when Mikšić tried to distance himself from some of his new allies – Miroslav Rajh and Domagoj Margetić (Domagoj Margetic), right-wing newspaper editor who was recently claimed being abducted. He accused them of being "provocateurs" and turning his "peaceful protest" into "demonstrations". Mikšić began his retreat by describing himself as "legalist" and claiming that he would "respect the verdict of Constitutional Court". Since it isn't hard to determine what the verdict will be, this statement was concession speech in all but a name.

Failed or not, Croatian Orange Revolution ate some of its children. Mikšić himself was subject of administrative complaint – he had failed to properly register his protest and police and faces fine up to 20,000 HRK (cca. 2,700 €). Some of his "allies" fared much worse – Rajh and Margetić spent one day in jail for not appearing in front of magistrate over the same misdemeanour. When they got out two of them, joined by another presidential candidate, Milan Kešer (Milan Keser), Eurosceptic mayor of Kalnik, accused Mikšić of striking the deal with Mesić (Mesic) and Kosor.

In the meantime, Mikšić announced that he would participate in this year's local elections, either by setting up his own party or independent candidates' lists in Zagreb and other major Croatian towns.


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